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Church’s Expansion Paves the Way for UBC to Establish Presence in Fraser Region

ubc-surrey

Having outgrown its current premises, Grace Hanin Community Church in Surrey, B.C. is looking to build a larger facility on a new piece of land that can accommodate its expanding congregation. As part of this vision, it opted to sell its property at 9770 King George Boulevard. Located on the southeast corner of Fraser Highway and King George Boulevard in Surrey City Centre, the asset comprises 3.09 acres of land including a 34,000-square-foot single-storey and mezzanine church building. The land is also situated in an area called Innovation Boulevard, which is home to almost 200 health care businesses, offices and educational facilities.

In December of 2020, the Church put out a call to the real estate and development community for an Expression of Interest (EOI) to purchase the property. The call for submissions particularly sought a party that could determine and realize the highest and best use development value of the land. UBC Properties Trust (UBCPT) engaged Randy Heed, Executive Vice President with Colliers in Surrey, to assist with the acquisition and ultimately was the successful bidder.

Unparalleled expertise and productive communication overcome obstacles for a positive outcome

Completing the transaction during the pandemic necessitated all discussions to be conducted virtually via Zoom, an interaction that lacked the “personal touch” of an in-person negotiation. Likewise, given the Church’s large membership, undertaking the approval process and obtaining consensus from voting members amidst differing viewpoints posed a challenge.

As part of the only commercial real estate firm with a physical presence in the Fraser Valley, Randy has specialized in property sales in the area and been actively involved in the Surrey community for more than three decades. Colliers’ deep local expertise combined with open, productive conversations among the Church’s consultants, UBCPT and Colliers led to a successful outcome that met the objectives of both the Church and UBCPT.  The sale and resulting redevelopment signify an immeasurable positive economic impact on the City of Surrey.

$70 million sale spells growth for Church, University and City

With the sale of the property, the Church can pursue its expansion plans and build new premises on a different site. UBC will establish a campus south of the Fraser River and be more accessible to the population of B.C.’s fastest-growing city. UBC joining Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in Surrey marks notable further growth in Surrey City Centre, which is already a hub for commerce, education and development.

“We are very excited to build a campus in Surrey where close to 3,500 of our current students live,” says Aubrey Kelly, President & CEO, UBC Properties Trust. “The site’s prime location makes it an ideal site for UBC to establish a presence in Surrey and fulfill students’ needs while providing them ready access to important amenities, from SkyTrain to Surrey Memorial Hospital. This acquisition is in line with UBC’s strategy to expand its regional presence and make the university – and post-secondary education as a whole – more accessible in the Fraser region.”

“A big congratulations to UBC and Grace Hanin Community Church on this significant sale,” says Randy Heed. “As a long-time resident of the City and having worked in Surrey for over 30 years, it is especially gratifying to work on putting together a deal that will have such a positive impact for the City of Surrey and for the region. I look forward to seeing UBC’s vision and strategy for its Surrey campus come to fruition.”